A startrescue.co.uk story...

A new report suggests British motorists are less likely to buy cars with autonomous features than their European counterparts.

According to Ford Car Buying Trends 2015, only 19 per cent of UK-bought Fords were fitted with parking assistance systems, compared to two thirds of cars sold on mainland Europe.

In Switzerland 72 per cent of cars featured Park Assist, a system that can automatically guide a car into a parking space using an array of sensors.

Around 60 per cent of vehicles bought in the Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Spain were purchased with this system.

The UK was ranked 17th of 22 countries in terms of willingness to buy cars with autonomous features.

Does this mean UK drivers are less enthusiastic about driverless car technology?

There has been much media attention on driverless cars in recent months and years, with Google, Apple and Audi among the big players in developing the technologies. Many countries' governments – including that of the UK – want to attract driverless car development.

Public support for such technology is doubtless important for its success.

But some voices in the media have suggested the Ford report shows a general disinterest in the driverless car among UK motorists. However, it might be argued that whether or not a motorist chooses car with Parking Assist has little to do with their feelings towards driverless cars in general.

After all, a machine that can drive you from London to Glasgow autonomously is rather different from a system that can get you into a supermarket space without scratching the neighbouring car's paintwork.

With the new £20m driverless car research and development fund established in July, the UK may yet become a key player in autonomous vehicle technology.